|Hackett Leads Niners Past Temple|
CHARLOTTE, NC - The fifth-seeded Charlotte softball squad fell in the early game to top seed Fordham, 2-0, but came back to top four-seed Temple, 3-1, Thursday at the Atlantic 10 Softball Tournament at the D.L. Phillips Complex in Charlotte, N.C.
With the win over Temple, Charlotte will play three-seed St. Joseph's on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Friday's games have all been moved up an hour to avoid inclement weather, and Saturday's championship game is also now scheduled for 11 a.m.
Senior Katy Hackett put together two masterful performances to propel the Niners to Friday's games. Hackett pitched seven innings, only yielding one run against Temple to advance the 49ers. Senior Carol Buchan roped an RBI double in the game while going 2-3, and senior Whitney Williams went 2-2 with a run. Senior Tenaya Tucker blooped a single in the seventh to plate the go-ahead run.
"Hackett was absolutely outstanding, you can't ask anything more of her," head coach Aimee DeVos said. "She wants it as bad as anybody else does. When you have a senior on the mound that can carry you, you would take that any day. We are here to win it, we have to go through the harder road in the loser's bracket, but we will battle through it."
The 49ers put up a run in the top of the second via Buchan's double to right center. The double scored junior Lorena Vela who reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning. Charlotte and Temple then kept each off the scoreboard for the next three innings.
The Owls evened the score in the bottom of the sixth. Sarah Prezioso of Temple singled to open the frame, and Stephanie Pasquale followed in the next at bat with a double to deep right-center which brought Prezioso in to tie the game at one apiece.
The Niners proved resilient though and came back in the top of the seventh. Sophomore Lindsey Holloman and Williams walked in back-to-back at-bats and senior Kendra McCall singled to left field to load the bases with no outs. The always-reliable Tucker looped a single over the second baseman's head to bring in Holloman. Freshman Jalisa Rock earned a tough RBI later in the inning, getting plunked by Owl starter Kristen Marris to push across another run and up the lead to 3-1. Hackett gave up a single to lead off the bottom half of the stanza, but then retired the next three batters to secure the victory for Charlotte.
"They have a lot of guts and that want to win," DeVos said about the seventh-inning rally. "I could not be more proud of them. They are going out there fired up, and they want to represent Charlotte and bring a championship to campus."
Charlotte fell to Fordham earlier in the day, 2-0, despite Hackett pitching six innings of two-run, five-hit ball. The Dacula, Ga., struck out five in the outing.
Fordham scored the game's only two runs when Beckah Wiggins connected on a two-run single to center field in the sixth inning. Charlotte's best scoring chance came in the fifth inning when Lorena Vela connected on a one-out double to left field. However, the 49ers were unable to get Vela home in the inning.
Charlotte's Tenaya Tucker led everyone with two hits in the game.
Second-seeded Temple and Fordham will face off at noon tomorrow in the day's opening game, before Charlotte takes on St. Joseph's. The loser of the Temple-Fordham matchup will take on the winner of Charlotte and St. Joseph's at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Fordham 2, Charlotte 49ers 0 (May 12, 2011 at Charlotte, N.C.)
Charlotte 49ers 3, Temple 1 (May 12, 2011 at Charlotte, N.C.)